Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Freemen of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

When you begin researching or reading about ancestors who lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony you come across references such as he was made a freeman on such and such a date, he was a commoner, selectmen, prudential men, etc.  But what does that mean exactly. Here is a brief explanation of the different terms.  

The Charter
The Colony was established by a charter granted by King Charles I, basically it was a Corporation, and the rules were laid out more for a company than for the running of towns.
The head of the Colony was a Governor, Deputy Governor and 18 Assistants who were to be chosen annually by the "Freemen" of the colony. In 1630 the only "Freemen" were the a fore mentioned men.  The charter spelled out that the Governor and the "Company" could choose as many "Freemen" as they deemed requisite for the orderly managing and dispatching of the affairs of the Governor and the Company.  Freedmen were if you like, stockholders in the Corporation and the Assistants would be the Board of Directors. This plan was laid out in England prior to setting sail.
In 1630 the Winthrop Fleet arrived in the Colony and set up the seat of Government at the newly formed town of Charleston.  They rapidly established 8 settlements: Salem, Lynn, Charleston, Mystic, Boston, Dorchester and Roxbury to dispurse the 700 plus new colonists.  By December the decision was made to remove the seat of Government to Boston.
John Wintrop, 1st Governor
The charter provided for meetings of the Governor, Deputy Governor and the Assistants once a month, or as often as they felt necessary.  For a quorum, they needed at least 7 Assistants. They agreed that the Governor, Deputy Governor and the Assistants would meet quarterly with all the Freemen in the colony. 
At the first quarterly court 109 men applied for admission as Freemen.
Those in authority were alarmed.  As all laws and elections would be democratic they felt it unacceptable that all men would be able to vote, so they changed the rules and said that the Freemen would only be allowed to elect the assistants and they in turn would choose the Governor.  No Freemen were chosen in the first court.
Puritan Male
In the quarterly court held in May of 1631 after changing some rules, the Court admitted 116 men as Freemen.  The new rules included the stipulation that in order to be considered a man must be a member of a church in good standing with the Colony. This was not as simple as it seemed.  First of all, everyone in the Colony was required by law to attend church, but to be a full church member you had to go before a panel of elders and endure a rather excruciating examination of your beliefs.  Many men chose to forego this and as a result did not become freemen. It goes without saying that the church must be of the Puritan persuasion, no Baptists, Quakers, or Catholics allowed. 
In 1632 the town of Watertown was taxed to pay for the expense of fortifying Cambridge.  the Pastor and elders of the Watertown church  refused, stating that the Governor and Assistants did not have the authority to levy taxes or make laws. They said only the General Court and the Freemen had that right. The towns while agreeing, felt it was impossible for all the Freemen in the Colony to leave their farms and homes to travel to Boston to attend the Court.  This would leave their towns vulnerable to Indian attacks, as well as leaving their farms and businesses untended.
The Court agreed and it was decided that each town would elect two representatives, called Deputies,  to attend the General court to vote for their townsmen. 

Freedmen were required to take the Freedmen's oath as follows:
I, A.B., being by God's providence an inhabitant and freeman within the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth, do freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the government thereof, and therefore do here swear by the great and dreadful name of the everlasting God, that I will be true and faithful to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance and support thereunto, with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound; and I will also truly endeavour to maintain and preserve all the liberties and privileges thereof, submitting myself to the wholesome laws and orders, made and established by the same. And further, that I will not plot nor practise any evil against it, nor consent to any, that shall so do, but will truly discover and reveal the same to lawful authority now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof. Moreover, I do solemnly bind myself in the sight of God, that when I shall be called to give my voice, touching any such matter of this state, wherein freemen are to deal, I will give my vote and suffrage, as I shall judge in mine own conscience may best conduce and tend to the public weal of the body, without respect of persons or favor of any man; so help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Men who were not eligible to be freemen or who choose not to be were residents. They too took an oath at age 16 called the residents of Oath of Fidelity. Women and Indians need not apply!   

Prudential Men were chosen by each town to enact the towns business.
As early as 1641, the Prudential men of theTown (Ipswich) ordered that no dog should come into the meeting house on Sabbath days or lecture days between twelve and three o'clock. Why they were so obnoxious during the afternoon service, and not in the morning, we are left to our wits to discover. Certain it is, that from very early times, the dog had been legislated against as an undesirable attendant.

The Selectmen were the Executive branch of the town government, these men had charge of the day-to-day operations; selectmen were important in legislating policies central to a community's police force, highway supervisors, poundkeepersfield drivers, and other officials.  They were also the town busybodies.  Reporting those who wore clothing above their station, did not go to church, fell asleep in church, etc.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

John Gage of Ipswich and Penelope D'Arcy

St. Mary's Boxford www.suffolkchurches.co.uk
If you have read any of my other blog posts, you will know that it drives me crazy to see junky genealogy stuff. You know what I'm talking  about, silly dates, wrong parents, born in places that didn't exist, etc. So here is yet another post about an interesting man who has  all sorts of bogus information floating around out there on the internet.  This is the story of John Gage of Ipswich. 

A lot of effort has gone into finding the ancestry of John Gage and at some point early on, erroneous information was published on his parentage. According to Robert Charles Anderson, author of "The Great Migration Begins", there is not enough concrete evidence to definitively say who John's parents were, however he concedes that with further research it could be possible to prove that a John Gage born in Suffolk, at the right time, and right place might be the man.  This John was baptized on 21 April 1606, in Kersey, Suffolk, England. His parents were John and Jane (Lufkin) Gage, who lived in nearby Boxford.  Boxford is only a few miles from Groton, Suffolk, and if you know your Massachusetts history, you will recall that this was the home of John Winthrop, first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In fact the Winthrop family opened a private boy's school in Boxford and frequently attended sermons at the Boxford church. John Gage gave his age in depositions once in 1659, and again in 1662.  At the first deposition he gave his age as 50 and in 1662 he stated his age as 58. This would be in the ballpark for the "Boxford" John. 

John Gage's name appears on the Covenant Roll for the 1st Church in Boston dated 27 Aug 1630.  His name was number 50 on the roll.  He had to have sailed with the Winthrop Fleet in order to be that high on the roll. The Winthrop Fleet was a group of eleven sailing ships under the leadership of John Winthrop that carried approximately 700 Puritans plus livestock and provisions from England to New England over the summer of 1630. John was made a Freeman on 4 March 1633.    He remained in Boston until March 1633 when he joined with  John Winthrop Jr.and about 10 other men to move to Agawam to start a new plantation. John Winthrop was recalled, but John Gage petitioned to remain. Agawam, purchased from the Indians for 20 pounds, became Ipswich, Massachusetts. Interestingly, there is a Boxford, Massachusetts not to far from Ipswich. 

John was a farmer, carpenter and a surveyor for the town of Ipswich.  He was also active in the militia, in 1639 he was called Corporal Gage and in 1670 he was a Sergeant. He settled in an area of Rowley which was known as Merrimac Village, this eventually became the town of Bradford, and finally incorporated into Haverhill. John was also active in the service of the town and colony.  He served on the Grand Jury, the Petit Jury, and was a selectman for Ipswich.  He was unable to write and made his mark on his deeds and his will. 

John married twice, his first wife was Amy unknown, they married by 1638. They had at least 6 sons that lived to adulthood.  Amy died in June of 1658 and John Gage wasted no time in remarrying.  His second wife was Sarah, the widow of Robert Keyes of Watertown and Newbury, they married in November of 1658.  I suppose as the father of 6 boys under the age of 20 he needed a woman to help raise them. John died March 24, 1672/73 in Bradford. See this link for more about John Gage.
Firle Place

Okay, so that seems all pretty straight forward, so what is the misinformation I spoke of at the beginning.  Seemingly thousands of family trees have John Gage to be the son of Sir John Gage of Firle, Sussex 1st Baronet and his wife the Lady Penelope D'Arcy. Now if those two names don't raise red flags, I can't imagine what would. So who is this John Gage?  His mother Penelope had previously been married, and widowed at age 17, before marrying John Gage, Knight in 1611.  She was the daughter and co-heir of Thomas D'Arcy, Earl Rivers and his wife Mary, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengave Hall, Knight. Sounds mighty impressive, I think we need a picture here to impress how fantastically wealthy these people were. Above is a picture of Firle Place, the principal residence of the Gage Family, but they owned a lot of property in many counties in England.

Hengrave House
John Gage was made a Baronet in 1622, he died in 1633.  He had four sons: Thomas, his heir, John b. 1615, Henry and Edward, and four daughters: Frances, Penelope, Elizabeth and Ann (notice that there is no daughter named Susanna). In 1633 none of his sons had yet reached the age of 21. Thomas, the eldest, inherited Firle and his father's title.

From about 1633 to 1640 Penelope lived in the Gage house on St. James St. Clerkenwell, London. In 1640 the widowed Penelope moved into Hengrave Hall, the home of her mother, Lady Rivers. Hengrave is in Suffolk County near Bury St. Edmunds. This area was home to a large concentration of Roman Catholic families, including the Gages. Penelope's sister Elizabeth lived nearby, she too was a widow. She had been married to Thomas Savage, Viscount, of Long Melford, Suffolk. Their son John became the 2nd Earl Rivers in 1640, upon the death of her father. Thomas Savage was a favorite of King Charles I and was Chancellor to Queen Henrietta Maria from 1628-1634. In 1642 the Colchester home of Lady Rivers and the Long Melford home of Elizabeth Savage were attacked by rioters. Elizabeth fled to Bury St. Edmunds where she was given shelter. 

In January of 1643 Hengrave Hall was visited by members of the County Committee who under orders from Parliament removed all weapons from the home. Penelope had been given a warning, shortly before they arrived, by Sir William Hervey of Ickworth. Penelope married Sir William shortly after this incident. Hengrave Hall became a Royalist hangout for the remainder of the Interregnum. 

Sir William was a widower, his first wife was Susan, daughter of Sir Robert Jermyn of Rushbrook. The two families who become intertwined. Penelope's son Edward Gage married William's daughter Maria. Penelope's son Henry Gage married Henrietta Jermyn, niece of Susan Jermyn. The last of Penelope's sons to marry was John. He married Mary Barker on 9 May 1655 at St. Dunstan in the West, in London.

Record of the Marriage of John Gage and Mary Barker

Henrietta Jermyn Gage
A very important thing of note about the family of Penelope Gage is that they were Roman Catholic in a time when Catholicism was banned in England. In fact, Ickworth, home of Sir William Hervey, had a private Catholic Chapel with Priest Hole.  Found in the "Particulars taken from the Process Book of Indictments from 6 October 7 Charles I to 4 December 16 Charles I, charges were brought against Penelope D' Arcy at least eight times for Recusancy.  Charges were also brought against her son John Gage, Gentlemen and her daughter Anne.  To be a Recusant was to be a Catholic. These charges were brought against Sir John Gage, Penelope and her children routinely when they lived at the London home of the Gage family on St. John's St. in the parish of St. James Clerkenwell.
On 6 November 1650 Sir William Hervey and Dame Penelope Gage his wife, of Hengrave, Suffolk, beg allowance of their claim to lands in Botolph Bridge conveyed to Lady Gage in 1637 by Sir Thomas Shirley for 200 years for 500 pounds seized for her recusancy, but discharged 10 Charles and the rents paid until they were sequestered 31 August last....
Penelope wrote her will on 30 August 1656 and it was proved on 2 July 1661. She was interred in the private chapel at Hengrave next to her daughter Dorothy.  In her will she wrote why she settled Hengrave on her fourth son Edward, and makes provisions for her other two sons, John and Henry.  In a codicil she ratified and confirmed the conveyance to her son John the Manor in Stoneham, Suffolk as well as the Manor of Barking, and a manor in Coddenham.  Her townhouse in Bury St. Edmunds was split between five of her children, including John.
Penelope Hervey

Penelope lived long enough to see the restoration of the Monarchy. King Charles II returned to England in 1660. Edward Gage inherited Hengrave was made a Baronet by King Charles in 1662. He became one of the richest Catholics in the country. In 1675 his son and heir William Gage married Mary Charlotte Bond, daughter of Sir Thomas Bond. The wedding took place at Hengrave Hall and the future King James II was in attendance. 

John Gage and his wife had no living children. In his will he specifically leaves his Suffolk manors to his brother Henry and his son John Gage. At the time he wrote his will he was living on York Street in St. James Square in London in a house he had from the Earl of St. Albans, Henry Jermyn. John's will was proved 27 April 1688.

There you go, two men named John Gage, contemporaries, yet their lives are worlds apart. How anyone could confuse the two is beyond me. 


Gage, Arthur E., "Some Descendants of John Gage of Ipswich, Mass", New England Historic and Genealogical Register, Boston, MA, July 1908, pgs. 254-263.Online database:AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.)

Rokewode, John Gage, Esquire, History and Antiquities of Suffolk, Thingo Hundred, S. Bentley, 1838, Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, England.

The Visitations of Suffolk made by Hervey, Clarenceaux, 1561, Cooke, Clarenceaux, 1577, and Raven, Richmond herald, 1612, with notes and an appendix of additional Suffolk pedigrees, William Pollard, Exeter, 1882, pgs. 48-49.

Coppinger, Walter, Arthur, Manors of Suffolk, Notes on their history and devolution, London, 1905

Will of Penelope D'Arcy from the National Archives London
Will of John Gage from the National Archives London
The Great Migration Begins Robert Charles Anderson
Parish Records, St. Dunstan in the West, London

Young, Francis, "Surviving the Penal Laws in East Anglia, Academia, www.academia.edu/6580238/Surviving_the_Penal_Laws_in_East_Anglia

Young, Francis, "The Gages of Hengrave 1640-1767, Academia, www.academia.edu/5428899/The_Gages_of_Hengrave_1640-1767

See the blog of Dr. Francis Young, Gage family researcher here. Dr. Young has done extensive research on this family and had accessed the family papers. He had also written a book on the Gage family. Which can be viewed/purchased at amazon by clicking on the book cover. 

I recently had an exchange, see comments below, with a woman who was utterly convinced that her ancestors were the Gage's of Firle.  Despite all evidence to the contrary she clings to that belief, going so far as to completely rewrite the Gage family history.  Some people will believe what they want and that's fine, but don't attack me or other researchers because we see things differently. Give me some fact based information and who knows, maybe you can change my mind. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Richard Currier of Salisbury, Massachusetts

Today I was reading  a book about the transition from Elizabeth I to James I of England.  The book was addressing the attitude of the English towards the Scottish people. There was a quote which came from that period that stated that in 1603 there were only about 50-60 Scottish people in all of London. The reason I am writing about this  has to do with the parents of Richard Currier of Salisbury, Massachusetts.  A search of ancestry.com has Richard born in Strawberry Bank, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.  A quick search of the maps reveals no such place, but more than that it just doesn't make any sense that he would be from Scotland.

source: apple time machine
Time Traveling Parents. An even bigger whopper is attached to his wife Ann.  In over 30 ancestry.com trees her parents are listed and Howard Arthur Turner b. 1919 d. 1969 and his wife Jennie Elizabeth Payne b. 1907 d. 1997.  They must have been time travelers! Ancestry.com is a great tool however, you still need to do your own research to confirm your findings, there is a lot of what I call "Junky Genealogy" out there. 

St. Thomas Salisbury by Paul Gillett,, creative commons
English Origins. So who were Richard and Ann Currier. It is possible that Richard was originally from Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.  Likely candidates for his parents are Thomas and Martha Osborne Currier. Thomas and Martha were married on 14 January 1611 at St. Thomas Church in Salisbury.  Their son Richard was baptized on 3 March 1616.  Richard, when he was about 47 swore in court that he had been servant to Mr. Francis Dove.  Francis was a leading citizen in Salisbury, England, he was twice Mayor of that town.  He married Alice Batt, the widow of Peter Thacher, Vicar of St. Edmund's in Salisbury.  She was also the sister of Christoper Batt, and her son the Puritan Rev. Thomas Thacher, was a minister in Weymouth, Mass. Francis and Alice came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but returned to England, where he died in 1666, he is buried in Salisbury, England.  Mr. Christoper Batt was one of the founders of Salisbury, Mass. Taken all together, it makes sense, but not definitively proven. 

Mystery Wife. Ann, the wife of Richard is more elusive.  Her maiden name is sometimes given as Turner or Brown.  She and Richard married prior to 1643 in Salisbury, Mass. She, like most women of that time, appears very little in the town records, and not much can be said about her. 

Coming to America. It is not known when or on what ship Richard traveled to the Colony.  His name first appears on the list of proprietors of the newly formed town of Salisbury. On the first plat map of Salisbury, Richard Currier's town land is on the ring road, next to the Meetinghouse. Abraham Morrill is next to him. He received land in 41 and 42.  Richard took the "Oath of Fidelity" in front of Lt. Pike in 1646. In 1648 he sold his land in Salisbury to Abraham Morrill and moved across the Powow River to the new town of Amesbury.  
first settlers memorial stone and plaque
Richard's name began to appear more frequently in town records at this time.  He played a much bigger role in the administration of the town of Amesbury.  He was town clerk, selectman, Prudential Man at various times.  He and Thomas Macy owned and operated a sawmill, and he bought and sold a  good bit of land. 

Ann died sometime before 20 Oct 1676, when Richard married for a second time to the twice widowed Joanna Pinder.  She had been wife to Valentine Rowell and William Sargent. Richard and Joanna spent their last years in the home of her son Phillip Rowell. Richard died on 22 Feb 1686/7 and Joanna died in 1690, having outlived yet another husband. Richard is said to have fallen through thin ice on the mill pond and drowned, he was aged about 70.

Children of Richard and Ann
Ann gave birth to only two children, or at least only two who survived to adulthood: 
Hannah b. July 8, 1643
Thomas b. March 8, 1646

Hannah Currier married Samuel  Foote in 1659.  They lived in Amesbury.  Samuel was killed by Indians on July 7, 1690, Phillip Rowell was also killed that day.

Thomas Currier married in 1668 to Mary Osgood, daughter of William and Elizabeth Osgood of Salisbury.  He too was very active in the affairs of Amesbury.  He was town clerk, after his father, for 38 years, selectman, deacon in the church, he also operated the sawmill.  He and Mary had 12 children.  He died in 1712 at the age of 66.

Harvey Lear Currier, Genealogy of Richard Currier of Salisbury and Amesbury, MA 1616-1686/7 and Many of His Descendants
Hoyt, Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury
Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Series
Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex County

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Henry Pinder and Mary Rogers of Ipswich

St. Mary's, Cambridge
English Origins Henry Pinder and Mary Rogers Pinder, early immigrants to Ipswich, Massachusetts in the Bay Colony, were married on 22 May 1614 at St. Mary's the Great, in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.  Based on her stated age when immigrating Mary was born in 1582 and Henry is believed to have been born by 1589, based on his date of marriage.  Together they had seven children, six girls and one son, all born in England. Baptismal records have been found for some of the children in Cambridge, England. 

Coming to America There is no record of Henry coming to America, but his family was listed as passengers on the "Susan and Ellen" which sailed in May of 1635 for Massachusetts.  Mary, along with six of her children are on the manifest. Phebe, the youngest, presumably died sometime after her birth in 1629. 

Life in Ipswich The first recorded mention  of Henry is not until 1636, by that time he and his family had settled in Ipswich.  He worked as a carpenter, but probably had to do some farming as well. He is recorded as owing the estate of one John Dillingham 6 pounds 12shillings. He and Thomas Rowell, another ancestor,  had contracted to build a prison house, which they did not complete and were sued in 1653. Henry was mentioned in only one land record.  Although he spent 20 years in Ipswich, he managed to remain mostly under the radar.
Mary died sometime between 1647 when she witnessed an offense committed by Joseph Fowler against her son John and 1655 when Henry, her husband remarried. Henry's second wife was Elizabeth Andrews, widow of Robert Andrews, her maiden name is unknown.
Henry died 6 Feb 1661/2. He left no will and no action was taken on his estate.

children of Henry and Mary
Francis bp. 6 August 1615, no further record
Mary bp. 14 Sept 1617 m. 21 March 1643 Solomon Martin 
Joanna b. about 1620 m. Valentine Rowell 14 November 1643, m. William Sargent 18 September 1670, m. Richard Currier 26 October 1676 
Anna bp.  13 January 1620/21, listed on ship manifest, no further record
Katherine bp. 23 January 1624/25, listed on ship manifest, no further record
John b. about 1627, m. Elizabeth Wilson by 1658.

Internet Errors A search on ancestry.com reveals hundreds of trees with list parents for both Henry and his first wife Mary Rogers. It is obvious that most of these names are just copied from other trees.  Henry parents are routinely listed as Michael Pinder and Mary Aldworth.  They are said to have married 1577 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts.  Can you spot the obvious mistake in that information, if not go back and reread your history books! Also, Henry's birthplace is given as Ipswich, Gloucester, there is no such place.  There is an Ipswich in Suffolk, England. Now there was a Michael Pinder of All Hallows, Bread St. London who married Mary Aldworth  on 24 June 1633.  They had a son Henry Pinder, born 20 November 1636, but he is not our man, but this may be where those names come from.

Mary's parents are given to be George and Susan Locket.  They were married in 1592.  This was a full ten years after the birth of Mary.  I think that pretty much rules them out.

So unless someone comes up with some concrete evidence of the parentage of Henry and Mary, those spots will be blank in my tree!

Robert Charles Andersons The Great Migration 
Fifty Great Migration Colonists by James Brooks Threlfall
New England Historic and Genealogical Society
Family Search Website

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Robert Clements of Cosby, Leicestershire and Haverhill, Massachusetts

english origins
Robert Clements, one of the first settlers of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was born in Cosby, Leicestershire, England, he was baptized on 14 December 1595. Cosby was known in the Doomsday Book as Cossebi. It seems to have no history of great interest. Robert was the son of Richard and Agnes Clements.  Agnes was a widow, her married name from her second marriage was Fellows, her maiden name unknown. Richard his father was born in Cosby, circa 1570. He was a Church Warden in 1598 in the Cosby church. 

Robert married Lydia Unknown prior to the 1615 birth of their first child.  Many  internet sites have her maiden name as Drummer, but there is no evidence for it. Robert's father died in 1617 and in October of that year he was granted administration of his father's estate. Also in 1617, Robert purchased land in Huncote, near Narborough, for 60 pounds. Robert's mother died in 1619, the administration of her estate was awarded to her son William Fellows, Robert's half brother.

Robert was obviously fairly well off, he continued to purchase land in the surrounding area, buying in both Broughton and Witherley. Interestingly, Witherley, Lesceistershire is only a stones throw from Atherstone and Mancetter, Warwickshire.  Witherley is on the opposite side of Watling St. (now the A5 motorway), which is the border between the two counties. Mancetter was home to immigrants Thomas and Valentine Rowell.
File:Lady Godiva by John Collier.jpg
Robert and Lydia eventually settled in Ansley, Warwickshire. In the great Doomsday Book of 1086 the village was called Hanslei. Ansley was owned by the very famous Lady Godiva. The parish church where the family would have worshiped was St. Laurence, begun in the 12th century, it now houses stunning stained glasses windows by artist Karl Parsons.

Robert and Lydia had at least eight children who lived to maturity, between the years 1615 and 1634.

children of robert and lydia
Job b. 1615,  died in 1682 in Dover, New Hampshire
Lydia b. 1618, died in Ipswich, Mass in 1676
John b. 1620, died at sea
Abraham b. 1622 died in Killenacratt, Cavan, Ireland
Daniel b. 1624 died in Rathkenny, Cavan, Ireland 1680
Sarah (ancestor) b. 1626 died in Salisbury, Mass in 1694 married Abraham Morrill
Mary b. 1637 died 1710 in Andover, Mass
Robert b. 1634 died 1714 in Haverhill, Mass

St. Laurence in Ansley 
coming to america
Robert's son Job was the first of the Clements to leave England, in 1639 he was in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1642 Lydia, wife of Robert, died and was buried in Ansley. Within two months Robert sold his land in Witherley and was on his way to America.  With him came his sons John and Robert and daughters Lydia and Sarah.  Abraham and Daniel stayed behind to fight with Oliver Cromwell and little Mary, age 5 was left behind with relatives in Coventry. It is not known on which ship they traveled but one of their fellow travelers was Tristram Coffin who also settled in Haverhill. 

The family landed in Salisbury but moved almost at once to Haverhill.  According to the city website:
Haverhill is located in northeastern Massachusetts; about 32 miles north of Boston on the New Hampshire border; and about 16 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The Merrimack River flows 12 miles through the heart of the city and is directly responsible for the city's shape and character.
Deed of Township
Settlement started in the area as early as 1640 but the "Deed of Township" was not signed until 1642.  Signing for the Colonist were Reverend John Ward, Robert Clements, Tristram Coffin, Hugh Sherrat, William White, and Thomas Davis.  The land was purchased from the Pentucket Tribe, Passaquo and Saggahew made their marks, bow and arrows, for the Indians.  Robert and Tristram Coffin were neighbors in an area of Haverhill known as The Rocks.  The town was named Haverhill after the birthplace of the Reverend John Ward who was from Haverhill, England. 

Robert Clements was made a freeman in 1645, he was very active in the administration of the colony. In 1647 he was made Commissioner to End Small Causes, 1647-1654 he was appointed as Deputy from Haverhill to the General Court, he was an Associate Judge, County Commissioner and was empowered to give the Oath of Fidelity to his fellow Haverhill residents.  In 1653 he was given the right to sell wine, so it seems he owned an Inn. Robert also continued to hold land in England. As well as farming, Robert owned the first gristmill in Haverhill.  All in all he was a very successful man.

In 1652 his daughter Mary rejoined the family in Haverhill, she was then 15 years old. She married the following year to John Osgood of Andover. Her brother John had married John's sister Sarah Osgood in 1648. 

In or about 1658 John Clement returned to England, possibly to join his brothers Daniel and Abraham who were in Ireland.  He wrote to his brother Robert and asked him to escort his family to England.  On the voyage to England the ship was captured by Spaniards and Robert and John's family were held captive in Spain for a few weeks.  At some point thereafter John, Sarah and their daughter were lost at sea. Robert returned to Haverhill and in 1659 and was appointed executor of his brother's estate.  

Robert Clements, 1st Earl of Leitrim
Irish Clements 
Daniel and Abraham stayed in Ireland. Daniel was given land in Rathkenny, Cavan by Oliver Cromwell and his descendants were quite successful, eventually earning the title of Earl of Leitrim. One of Robert Jr. descendants was Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain. 

Mary Clements Osgood was caught up in the witchcraft trials in 1692. She was so browbeaten and badgered by the Trial Judges that she actually admitted to being a witch. She eventually recanted, she was held in prison for several weeks and was eventually released. Robert  Clements Sr. remarried at some point to a woman named Judith, the date of the marriage in unknown. 

Robert died in Haverhill on 29 September 1658. The following is his will, written on September the sixth.  

Sept 6th 1658
I Robertt Clements of Haverhill being of perfitt memory blessed be God for itt, doe ordaine & make this my last will, in manner & forme following: ffirst I Comitt my soule into the hands of God my Creator & maker, beleeving through the mirretts Rightousnesse & obedience of Jesus Christ my redemer to have & enjoy life & salvation Everlastingly by him. ffor my goods I give first unto my wife my house & house lott & all the acomadations that belonged to itt which shee is to have during her life & after her decease to returne to my childerns childorne that are in new england each his portion to be delivered into the hands of their parents for their childorns use. I give alsoe to my wife my best yoake of oxen I have, & three of my best cowes, & my best beds with theire furniture to them & six of my best peauter dishes six spoones, my best brasse pott, & three of my best kittles, & two spining t__rnes, & all hangles on the fire, with fire shovles & tonges & two of the best coushens, one___ & a cupp, with all my wooden & Earthen vessells & all manner of clothing that belong to her, as also my byble candlestick & chamber pott. My will is that if there be any goods of mine come out of England this yere or the next my wife shall have five pounds of itt according to the bill of lading. Alsoe I give my wife al the Lining in my house excepting two paire of sheets that are for my bed & all the Corne in my house barne & growing on the land, & also a debt of seaven & sum odd mony in the hands of John Hutchins for the repaireing the house & fencing the home lott. I give to my wife alsoe what is due mee or will bee from mr Drumer by bills or Covinants, & alsoe the Cloth that is att the weavers with what woolen yearne & fflaxe is in the house, & alsoe three pounds which is in the hands of mr. Cooke of boston. I give her two skillitts, two stockes off the best beese & two chests with locke & caie to them. I give to my wife the boards I bought at Salisbury to repaire the house. It is my will that one halfe of the goods which I give my wife that if shee spend not, at her decease it shall returne to my executors to be equally devided among them.I give unto my sonne Job Clement one fellee which will be two yer old next may. Allsoe I give him my best suit of apparell & my best cloake & best hatt, my best paire of shewes & stockens. I give to my sonne Robertt twenty pound due to me out of my rentt in England, & which rentt is due me more I give to my three sones John, Abraham & Dannell.All the rest of my estate in new england due to mee upon bonds or bills or any accounts land or goods whatsoever I give to my sonnes Moses Pengrow & Abraham Morrill & John Osgood whom I make my executors to see this my will performed & my debts paid & my body laid in the grave. That which is struck out in the other side at the lower end betweene the 4th & 5th line it was done before it was seald to, & here unto I sett my hand & seald. I give to mr. ward or minester five pounds.
Robert Clements (seal) Witness:Bartell:BH Heath and william whiteProved in Hampton court 11:8:1658 by the witnesses.
Estate of Robert Clements of Haverhill
Mr. Robert Clements late of Haverhill, gave to his grandchildren that were then in New England, after the decease of his wife, his house, houselot and orchard in Haverhill, to be divided equally by the disposal of their parents; therefore, Job Clements, Moses Pengry, John Osgood and Thomas Mudget being the surviving parents of the grandchildren, have divided it into three parts, there being fifteen heirs, that is to say two of Job Clements, six of Moses Pengry's, five Abraham Morrill's and two of John Osgood's and thus the heirs are divided into three parts and their portions are as follows: Job Clement's two children, John Osgood's two children and Moses Pengry's eldest son to have the second division of upland, the oxe common land, half of the east meadow the upper end, together with one third part of the fourth division laid out, as also all common priviledges thereunto belonging; Moses Pengry's other five children to have the third division of upland, Haukes meadow, and one third part of the fourth division not yet laid out, together with one third of all common priviledges thereunto belonging: Abraham Morrill's five children to have the house and house lot, orchard, the plain lot and half the east meadow the lower end, with one third part of the fourth division not yet laid out and one third of all common priviledes thereunto belonging.
Singed Oct 8 1669Witness: Robert Clement, Jno (his I+ mark) Heath, Sr., John Redman Thomas Mudget owned this agreement or division Dec 18, 1684.Acknowledged Apr 2, 1672, by Moses Pengry and John Osgood.George brown and Daniell Ela were chosen by the Hampton court to consider of and to survey a division of land that Mr. Rob. Clement gave to his grandchildren which they have done and consider the above division just and right as witness our hands. Oct 6 1685
Source: Norfolk Deeds, vol 3, p. 341

Sarah Morrill daughter of Abraham Morrill and Sarah Clement married Phillip Rowell son of Valentine and Joanna Pinder.  So the grandchildren of Robert Clements and Thomas Rowell married. 

Final mono map without gazetteer v3.jpg

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Abraham Morrill of Salisbury, Massachusetts

As with many of the early immigrants to America, the information we have about them is limited, usually to what we know, what we think we know and what we just plain make up.  This is also the case for Abraham Morrill. According to Anderson in Great Migration, the origins of Abraham are unknown.  His brother Issac is listed on the ship "The Lion" and arrived in 1632/33. Many sources have said that it would make sense if Abraham was also on the "Lion", but this cannot be proved.  Anderson believes that based on a land grant of 1635, Abraham had to have been born no later than 1614.  One source said was born in 1586 in Broad Oak, Essex, however there is nothing that would give credence to this claim.

Abraham in Cambridge  The first record of Abraham in this county is in 1635 when he was given land in Cambridge. Cambridge, called Newe Towne in 1635, was one of the first settlements by the members of the Winthrop fleet.  The site was chosen in December of 1630 because it was "safely upriver from Boston", and would be difficult to attack by ship.  It was also at the first stretch of the  Charles River that was crossible.   The first houses were built in 1631 and the original village site was where Harvard Square is today. 
seal of the Mass Bay Co.
The first evidence of Abraham comes from Cambridge records from 1635 showing that he was granted a share in a meadow on 20 August. In February 1635/6 he is on a list of men who have  houses in the town, and in 1639 an inventory of land in Cambridge recorded that he held four parcels of land. he continues to show up on the inventory of land until 1642.  His brother Isaac is not recorded in Cambridge, he seems to have settled in Roxbury immediately. 
For the record
Abraham and his brothers' names are also found on a record from a 1638 list of members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. This Order was started by  Robert Keayne  who was born in Windsor, England, 1595. His father John Keayne, was a butcher, but Robert's interest moved him toward a career in merchant tailoring. He moved to London and served his apprenticeship until admitted to membership of the Merchant Tailor Corporation of 1615. He joined the Honorable Artillery Company of London in 1623. He emigrated to Boston, via the ship "Defense", in 1635 and was elected the first Captain of the newly chartered order.  The order was established to train young gentlemen officers for service in the various militias of the Colony.  This order is still in existence.  Check out their website: Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. The companies headquarters
has been located in Faneuil Hall since 1746. 

In 1638 a group of men headed by Simon Bradstreet and Samuel Dudley petitioned the General Court to begin a new plantation in an area known as Merrimack.  This plantation was first called Colchester, and on a 1639 document listing the original planters is the name Abraham Morrill. In 1640 the first division of  land was made, Abraham and about 50 other men, and one widow, received their town lots. The town name was also changed at that time to Salisbury.  Abraham's house lot was between Richard Currier and Richard North, not to far from the Meeting House.  See Salisbury Plat Map
Isaac Morrill House built in 1680
In 1642, he and Henry Saywood were granted 60 acres to build a corn mill. Abraham continued to receive land, and in 1650 he was listed as a commoner and taxed to pay the Minister's salary.  He continued to receive land in the years to come.

Family Finally  
In 1645 Abraham finally married.  His wife was Sarah Clement. Sarah was born in about 1625/26 in England,  She was the daughter of Robert and Lydia Clement. Robert and his family left England for the Colony in 1642.  He landed and stayed in Haverhill where he became an influential and wealthy member of that community, and the owner of the first grist mill. He was one of the five to take the deed of the town from the Passagut and Saggahew Indians in 1642. He eventually came to own an island in the Merrimack River that is still known as Clements Island.

Children of Abraham and Sarah:
Isaac, b. 10 May 1646 d. 17 Oct 1713
Jacob b. 24 Aug 1648 
Sarah b. 24 Oct. 1650 m. Philip Rowell
Abraham b. 14 Nov 1652
Moses b. 28 Dec 1655
Aaron b. 9 Aug 1658
Richard b. 6 Feb 1659/60
Lydia b.  8 Mar 1660/61
Hepzibah b. Jan 1662/63

Abraham Morrill died in Roxbury on 18 June 1662, possibly while visiting his deceased brother's family. Isaac had died exactly six months prior to Abraham. Abraham left a young wife with 6 children under 18 years of age, the youngest, depending on the year was  either an infant or unborn. Abraham himself was probably less than 50 years of age when he died. The will of Abraham Morrill is signed two days before his death, the signature being not much more than a scribble. He is believed to be buried in Roxbury in the Eustis Street Burying Ground, in the same cemetery as his brother. 
To his "dear and loving wife" Abraham left one half of the entire estate outright. The other half was to be split between his six surviving children which he mentions by name: Isaack, Abraham, Jacob, Sarah, Moses, and Lidda. His wife Sarah was carrying their youngest child, as yet unborn. Being the eldest, Isaack was to receive a double portion once he reaches the age of 21. Abraham's wife Sarah and his son Isaack were appointed executors of the estate. 
Sarah remarried on Oct 8, 1665 to Thomas Mudgett. Together they had two children, Mary and Temperance Mudgett.  Sarah died in Aug 1694, and Thomas died in 1700.  

The sister of Sarah Clements, Mary (Clements) Osgood, was caught up in the Salem Witch Trials; Mary (Clements) Osgood was accused of witchcraft and spent three months in jail.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kate Trever Coe

Kate Trever was the daughter of Robert L. Trever and Jemima Whydale.  She was born in Wisconsin in 1870, but didn't stay there long. Kate's father was a circuit Free Will Methodist Minister in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas.  It was a rough life, living out of covered wagons and travelling in all sorts of weather.
In 1894, age 24, Kate married Schuyler Vinta Coe, farmer and minister. In the 1900 census she was living in Dicks Woods, Oklahoma with her husband and daughter Ethel Jennie.  The census shows that she had given birth to two children, obviously one had not survived.  Her parent lived nearby.
Kate and Schuyler Coe in the front middle
By 1910 Kate and her husband were living in Kansas City, Kansas. Schuyler was a Minister in an Evangelical Church.  They were also running an Orphanage and Woman's Home called Life Line Ministries. Kate and her husband adopted one of the children and named him Chester Coe.  At various times her sister Elizabeth Marriam Trever worked with her in Kansas.  Her father Robert Trever died at her home.  Schuyler died in 1927 and a new minister was appointed to the church he had started.  
Line Line Home in Kansas
Kate Coe and her daughter Ethel continue to run the Orphanage.  Ethel married Hugh Hardie and he also worked in the ministry. The Home operated for 74 years and finally closed in 1981.
Kate wrote a book published in 1932 called "A History of the Life Line Orphanage".  There are no copies available so I have not seen it.

do you know something about Kate Coe, please share! Also if you have the book I'd love to hear about it.  

I just received a batch of photos that include the following of Kate Trever Coe and her husband.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

William Partridge and Ann Spicer of Salisbury, Massachusetts

english origins
William Partridge, ancestor, was born circa 1615 in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. Olney is a market town on the Great River Ouse, it was first mentioned in the Doomsday Book as Ollanege.  Olney is famous for it's Shrove Tuesday Pancake races and for being home to the Clergyman John Newton who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace".   William's story starts with a different Clergyman; William Worcester. William Worcester was Vicar of St. Peter and St. Paul parish church in Olney from 1624 until 1636, a time of great religious upheaval in England. 

In 1633 King Charles I reissued his father's "Book of Sports" which encouraged games and play on Sunday.  This was a hot button issue for "Non-Conformist" or Puritan ministers who deemed it a violation of the Sabbath.  The King issued a letter that was to be read from the pulpit concerning this book and many ministers refused to read it.  William Worcester was among those suspended from his duties for refusing. 

coming to america
In 1630, with the sailing of the Winthrop Fleet, the Great Migration had begun.  Many of the emigrants to the Colonies were parishioners who followed their Puritan leaders to establish a new order in a new world. By 1638 William Worcester had gathered those of his congregation who were like minded and made the crossing to start anew in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. William Partridge was one of those  who took up the call to settle in the Colony and start a new life for his family.

english origins
William was the son of John Partridge (1589-1647) of Olney.  He married Ann Spicer on October 6, 1636 in the parish church, possibly by William Worcester. His sister Jane married fellow emigrant Henry Gaines. Not much is known about the Partridge family in England. In his will, John named only the children of his daughter Jane and his son William, presumably there were no other living children.  His widow's name was Frances, but she may or may not have been the mother of John's children. Here is an extract dealing with his will:
 The nuncupative Will of John Partridge. memorandu that the 20 Jan 1647, John Partridge of Olney in the County of Bucks, laborer, now deceased, did give grant and dispose of all and singular his goods, cattle, chattles and debts unto William Geynes, Richard Kend, and Roger Tayre of Olney upon this trust that they should therewith maintain Frances Partridge, widow, the then wife of the aforesaid John, so long as she should live after his decease, and also pay the debts of the said John. And after the decease of the said Frances the overplus thereof (if any should then be) of the said John, and the three children of Henry Geynes, brother of said William Geynes, save only that the eldest child of the said William Partridge should have a double part thereof, all wch said psons now or late were in New England. Witnesses: Thomas Whiteinge, and signum Eliz: Wheelowes. In the presence of Lawrence Shepard and George Mason 12 Feb 1627-8. No record of probate, but a bond, dated 3 May 1648, is filed with the will. [Archdeaconry of Bucks, 1647, No. 143.]   The Register Volume 68 page 283
After the long and exhausting sea voyage the Partridge and Gaines families did as many newcomers to  the Colony, they stopped briefly in a coastal town to recuperate and got the lay of the land. The two families stayed in Lynn, Massachusetts for a short time on arrival. The Gaines family chose to remain in Lynn, while the Partridge's followed William Worcester to the new town of Colchester, soon to be known as Salisbury.  Both Henry and Jane Gaines were dead by 1645, leaving two young boys.

The Reverend William Worcester was a prominent man in the new settlement of Salisbury, Puritan Ministers were the political as well as spiritual leader of the new society. Town lot sizes were assigned based on the ability to pay, William Partridge received a small lot, William Worcester on the other hand received one of the larger lots.  The house lots were from one to four acres gathered around a large ring road, to provide safety in numbers. The townsmen were also given land on which to grow crops, graze animals, cut timber, etc. The goal of the new settlers was to quickly build a house and get crops into the ground. A rough cold winter was just around the corner. A meetinghouse and church also had to be built. Men had to be armed at all times and to be on guard for Indians and wolves.

In 1643 there were 30 towns in the Bay Colony and the area was divided into four counties. Salisbury was included in Norfolk County along with Hampton, Dover, Haverhill, Strawberry Banks, and Exeter. The court was held in Hampton (which is now part of New Hampshire).  

The townsmen quickly established a form of local government, began record keeping, appointed leadership roles, a constable, and other jobs that were necessary to maintaining order. William's name doesn't crop up to often in the records. In 1645, he and two other men were chosen to lay out the highway to the beach.  A year or so later he was assigned to work with the Prudential men to help settle a matter dealing with Carr's Ferry.  In 1649 William was chosen as town constable, he turned it down and was fined 20 shillings for doing so. William was again fined in 1650, this time for writing in a different name for constable other than the "accepted candidate".  By 1654, the year of his death, Salisbury had gotten so crowded that they decided to start a new town called Amesbury.
(see the original plat map of Salisbury)

william dies ann remarries
William died on 5 July 1654,  a man in his prime, his widow Anne was left with seven young children, including an infant. She quickly remarried on 1 January 1655. Her new husband was widower Anthony Stanyan of Hampton. Presumably, she relocated the family to Hampton at that time.

Anthony Stanyan was born in 1611 in England, he came to the colony in 1635 on the ship "The Planter".  He lived in Boston and Exeter before finally settling down in Hampton.  He was very active in the administration of the town.  He was called "Mr" Stanyan, which was a sign of affluence and respect at that time. Anthony helped Anne secure the inheritance left to her children from their grandfather John Partridge. He had at least two children by his first wife, it doesn't seem that he and Anne had any children together. Anthony's son John married Mary Bradbury in 1663, she was the sister of Jane Bradbury (ancestor) and daughter of Thomas and Mary Perkins Bradbury (ancestors).  Anthony died in Hampton before February 1688/9, age about 77 and Anne died on 10 July 1689. 

William and Anne had the following children:
Elizabeth ( ancestor) b. Salisbury 14 Feb 1642/3, m. Hampton 26 June 1661 Joseph Shaw
Sarah (ancestor) b. Salisbury 24 Aug 1647 d. Hampton July 1718 m. Haverhill 14 Nov 1666 John Heath

william jr.
If William Partridge, Sr. failed to make his mark on history, his son, William Jr. made up for it. The following letter is taken from the New Hampshire Provincial Papers. It is a letter from King William III to William Partridge appointing him Lt. Governor of New Hampshire.

Commission of William Partridge, Esq., Lieut. Governor of the Province of New Hampshire. 
William the Third by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France & Ireland, defender of the Fayth &c. to our trusty and well beloved William Partridge, Esq. Greeting. Wee Reposing especiall Trust & Confidence in your Prudence, Courage & Loyalty, have thought fitt to nominate and appoint, and we do by these presents nominate and appoint you the said William Partridge to be our Lieut. Governor of our Province of New Hampshire in America: To have, hold, exerciseenjoy the said office and place of our Lieut. Governor of our said Province of New Hampshire, with all the Rights, Privilidges proffits & advantages to the same belonging and appertaining, for and during our pleasure, to be at any time signified under our Royall Signett & Signe manuall, which said signature shall to all intents & purposes, revoke and make null this our Commission. And in case of the death or absence of our Governor in cheife of our said Province of New Hampshire for the time being, Wee doe hereby authorize and require you or such other our Lieut. Governor as we shall at any time hereafter appoint under our royall Signett & Signe mannuell to execute and pcrforme all and singular the powers and directions contained in our commission, ranted or to be granted unto our said Chiefe Governor or now in force or such instructions as he hath or shall at any time receive from us, and you are to follow such orders and directions as yon shall receave from our Sd Governor in Chief of our said Province of New Hampshire for the time being. And we doe heerby command all and singular of our officers ministers Louving subjects of our Sd Collony and dominion and all others whom it may concern to take due notice thereof. And whereas by our commission under our great Seale, Bearing date the first day of March in the fowerth yeare of our Reigne, Wee have constituted and appointed our trusty and well beloved Samd Allen Esq to be our Governor, & Jn* Usher Esq to be our Lieut Governor of our said Province of New Hampshire, Wee doe by these presents, revoake soo much of our said Commission whereby the sd Jn* Usher Esq. is constituted and appointed to be our Lieut. Governor of our Said Province of New Hampshire, and all the Powers and Authoritys thereby granted to him, declaring the same to be for the future voyde, of none efect soe fan- as it relates to the said Jn* Usher: In Wittness whereof wee have caused these our Letters to be made pattents. Wittness Thomas Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, and the rest of the Guardians and Justices of the Realme att Westminster, the twenty sixth day of June in the eight year of our Reigne.


Elizabeth French, "Genealogical Gleanings in England," The New England Historic and Genealogical Register, Vol. 63 (July 1909) 283.

Homer Worthington Brainard, "Henry Gaines of Lynn Mass and Some of his Descendants," The New England Historic and Genealogical Register, Vol. 85 (January 1931) 30.

Have a great day!